And we’re not talking “Chiller” Fest.
We spent last weekend in a spooky church basement shooting scenes of terror and mayhem, mixed in with blood and also nurnies and charcoal powder–in other words, it was a horror fan’s dream. This was days five and six of shooting for our new feature film Demon Nun.
So I have a dolly for my camera. It’s one of those “Glide Gear” systems they sell on ebay. It’s pretty nice for the relatively inexpensive price. The only problem is, I don’t have any track to go with it.
They have a track system on ebay as well, but I didn’t feel like dropping the $150+ for it. So I went down to the Home Depo and bought a 2 X 4 and some plastic pipe (one inch in diameter). Oh, some screws too. Cost me about $18 bucks. I went with one inch because it lifts the glide wheels off the ground a little more, in case you’re shooting somewhere outside and there’s gravel around that could obstruct the wheels.
Unfortunately, I had to do the construction in my tiny NYC apartment, not much room to maneuver around, esp. with curious cats like Madame Sylvia here…,
I had to cut down the pipe to around five feet because I don’t think it would fit in the company SUV if it was much longer. I would’ve liked it longer to provide for more tracking shot time, but at least we got this muich. Maybe I can devise some kind of interlocking pipe system to make it longer…! Mwahahaha! Oh and I only stripped one screw!
It’s crucial to get as much camera movement into your project as you can and not just the handheld stuff. (I’ve had distributors tell me that overseas audiences don’t like the handheld stuff that much.) Getting smooth camera motion into your film is key to making it look professional. Also, it’ll set your film apart from all the other low-budget crap a distributor has to weed through. That and using a boom mic instead of a camera mic! Ditch the camera mic you guys/gals/gender fluid types/whomever is reading this. (Ol’ Max is open to everyone!)
Now, the only thing is, if I want to use this thing for a scene where two people are talking as they walk down the street, I’m gonna have to move it like twenty times to cover the whole scene.
So, if you see some strange guy moving his homemade dolly track down the sidewalk, again and again, don’t make fun of him, he’s just trying to save a few bucks!